Sunday, May 16, 2010
Let's Face It
Just a little rant because . . I like Facebook. I don't use it that often . . lies . . I log in once or twice a day, catch up on virtual and real friends, find the odd old lost forgotten friend and sometimes put something silly in the box at the top.
One thing I understand about Facebook is that it's a social networking site. It's free and somehow the silicon valley kings have to pay for its upkeep. How do they do that? Targeted advertising. So why are so many people upset about a violation of privacy on Facebook? It only draws the information you choose to put on it. Yep YOU CHOOSE.
I don't get it. If you want a private conversation you can do that through a number of media from snail mail or a simple telephone call through to chat on apps such as Google Chat or Skype, both of which I use frequently and both of which require a minimum of information about the user in order to register.
If you don't want people to know your identity, where you live, what school you attended or to look at your photos, for God's sake don't upload them. If you do have private information on your profile but insist on playing Farmville or scrabble or downloading a number of stupid applications . . .expect that information to be collected. Facebook tells you that it will!
Also, don't 'friend' people you don't know or trust. If your privacy settings are set to "Friends" then only people you allow access can see shit. If your settings go as a far as 'Friends of Friends' or "Everyone" then you're releasing information on your profile page to the cyber universe.
I have a minimum of information on my Facebook page. My birthday (which is October 16 by the way so put that in your diaries), my education, my city and country, why I'm on there, a few photos that I really don't care if friends can see them and that's about it.
Think about it. Your personal information is widely available through your tax returns, medical records, criminal records etc. OK it's not easy to get this information but it is possible. I can find out who owns the block next to mine by doing a simple title search. I can Google just about anyone and get some information so it's not rocket science.
I think you really need to think 'why' you're on Facebook and if it's to protect your privacy, probably not a great idea. Facebook takes whatever personal information you 'choose' to provide so don't provide what you don't want others to know. If it's to network, find old friends, see how the other half lives or just keep in touch, it's a terrific way to do so.
Don't want people to know . . .don't tell them! You might know a lot about me from Facebook, the blog or other electronic media such as LinkedIn but you still only know what I choose to tell you. . .and that aint my shoe size!